Chicago Kidnapping Attorney
According to the United States Department of Justice, over 800,000 people go missing every year. In addition, tens of thousands of children are victim to non-parental abduction on an annual basis. In Illinois, the safety of children is a top priority, and the consequences of a kidnapping conviction are severe. For this reason, being found guilty of kidnapping can lead to decades spent in state prison and thousands of dollars of fines. Fortunately, there are ways a skilled Chicago violent crimes lawyer can defend against these charges.
If you have been accused of kidnapping, the prosecutor will be under enormous pressure to secure your conviction. Many kidnapping charges arise from bitter ex-spouses or from bystanders who misinterpret an innocent situation. You may have been driving a friend’s child home or picking up your own child from a school or sporting event. Our Chicago kidnapping attorneys at O’Meara Law know how easily innocent situations can be blown out of proportion, and we will work tirelessly to prove your innocence
To find out how you can put this situation behind you and move on with your life, call 312-909-0706 now.
Understanding the Offense of Kidnapping
According to the laws of Illinois, kidnapping occurs when a person takes someone against their will with the use of force, enticement, or trickery. When this crime involves a child under the age of 13 or a person who is mentally handicapped, the crime becomes aggravated. Aggravated kidnapping also occurs when the victim is harmed or when the kidnapper demands a ransom. In the eyes of the law, aggravated kidnapping warrants elevated consequences.
Penalties of a Kidnapping Conviction
If you are found guilty of kidnapping, you will be subject to severe criminal penalties that will depend on factors such as the age of the victim and whether the victim was harmed. In Illinois, kidnapping offenses are divided as follows:
- Kidnapping (Class 2 Felony) – A fine of up to $25,000 and between three and seven years in prison.
- Aggravated Kidnapping (Class X Felony) – A fine of up to $25,000 and between six and 30 years in prison, depending on the severity of the crime, an additional 15 to 25 years can be added to the original sentence.
Once you are released from prison, you will have to contend with a number of collateral consequences:
- Inability to find a good job as a felon
- Barring from receiving certain welfare and housing subsidies
- Inability to enter many professions with licensing or background check requirement
- Revocation of your right to own or to even use firearms
- For non-citizens, possible deportation
How Michael O’Meara Can Help
While being accused of such a heinous crime can be distressing, there are ways to protect your freedom. The first step is to seek the help of an experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer. Unlike a public defender, a skilled attorney will have the time and resources to protect your rights at every stage of the criminal justice process. To obtain your conviction, the prosecutor must prove every aspect of the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. Your defense lawyer will advocate zealously on your behalf to demonstrate that the available evidence does not support your guilt.
Chicago kidnapping lawyer Michael O’Meara realizes that this is a difficult time for you and your family. Your entire future likely depends on the verdict of your case. To find out more about how we can defend against your kidnapping charges, call 312-909-0706 today for a free consultation.